News Briefs

Jul 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Sci Fi Channel has decided not to produce any additional episodes of “Tremors: The Series,” due to soft ratings, the network confirmed Friday. The last original episode will air Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. Since premiering March 28 with back-to-back episodes that delivered 1.6 and 2.0 ratings in Sci Fi homes, the series’ average has dropped to 1.1 for original episodes, according to Sci Fi. The series is based on Universal’s “Tremors” film franchise and produced by USA Cable Entertainment in association with Big Productions.
TV Executives Do the Shuffle
Former NBC Studios President Ted Harbert is opening his own production company; Thom Sherman, ABC’s senior VP of drama series, has signed a new contract; Fox has anointed new leaders for its comedy and drama development teams; and veteran executive John Ford has been appointed executive VP, programming, for the National Geographic Channel.Mr. Harbert’s new company, Ted Harbert Television, will be based at 20th Century Fox Televisionunder a two-year deal and already has script commitments from NBC, CBS and The WB. Mr. Harbert left NBC Studios earlier this summer in a reorganization that brought FX President Kevin Reilly to NBC.Mr. Sherman’s new deal will keep him at ABC for two more years. He has been head of drama at the network for two years. At Fox, Peter Johnson was promoted to senior VP of drama development from VP. Jeremy Gold was hired as senior VP of comedy development, from VP of comedy at sister studio 20th Century Fox Television. Both will report to Craig Erwich, executive VP of programming at Fox. Mr. Ford, whose career has included launching three channels for Discovery Networks, will be based at National Geographic Channel’s headquarters in Washington and will report to Laureen Ong, the channel’s president. He will oversee all aspects of the network’s programming strategy.
Cablevision Launches Satellite
Cablevision Systems has launched its first satellite into space, making good on a decade-long promise to begin providing a national satellite TV service. The launch last week from Cape Canaveral is part of a broader plan in which Bethpage, N.Y.-based Cablevision said it would spin off its satellite business and Clearview Cinemas movie theater chain into a separate company by the end of the year to focus on its entertainment and cable businesses. A spokeswoman was unavailable at deadline to say whether Cablevision will proceed with its spinoff plans, given that the company is embroiled in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over accounting practices at its Rainbow Media Holdings unit.
Ratings: `Queer Eye’ Hits, All-Star Misses
The premiere of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” last week was the highest-rated show in the network’s history, while the ratings for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Fox fizzled. “Queer” earned a 1.61 household rating in Bravo homes on July 15 at 10 p.m. Meanwhile, All-Star Game ratings for the same night were on par with last season’s disappointment, despite baseball’s attempt to generate interest by awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league. About 30.7 million viewers watched the game.
Rosanna Arquette Gets Sitcom
Rosanna Arquette has signed a deal with ABC Family Channel to star in a half-hour scripted comedy based on her life. The show is currently untitled, and ABC Family has not announced an airdate.